Then, every beast and living thing that was in the Garden, and roved its shades and valleys and drank of its waters, was at peace in the life that had been given it, without fear or disquietude or wrong. But as yet they had no names. Trees grew in abundance on the hills and in the valleys of the Garden, and every tree that sprang forth out of the earth was fair in sight and sweet to eat.

In the crystal waters of its river swam fish gemlike and marvellous in scale and fin and in their swift motion in the water; and flowers of every shape and hue grew so close in company upon its banks that the air was coloured with the light cast back from their own clear loveliness. The faintest breeze that stirred was burdened with their fragrance. And at certain seasons a mist went up out of the Garden; and night-tide shed its dews, watering the whole face of the ground, refreshing all things.

And in the very midst of the Garden were two trees, secret and wondrous; the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their branches rose in a silence so profound that no cry of bird or beast was heard there, and no living thing shaped by the Lord God out of the dust of the earth ever drew near.

Now the man whom the Lord God had created was different from every other living thing upon the earth. Miraculous in grace and life and strength, his lighted eyes, his hair, his hands, the motion of his limbs, the mystery of his beating heart, his senses to touch and taste and smell and hear and see—miraculous also in the wonder of his mind that reflected in little all things of the great world around him—he too, like all else that had life in the Garden, had been fashioned and shaped of the dust. Yet was he in the image and likeness of the divine; the Lord God had breathed into him breath of life, and he became a living soul.

Since his body, like theirs, was also of the earth, Adam was at peace with all living creatures in the Garden. Nevertheless because in mind and spirit he was man and no beast, God made him the lord and master of the Garden, sovereign even to the fishes of the water, to the birds of heaven and the unreasonable beasts of earth. He had dominion over them all. And as the free and harmless creatures that for a happy dwelling-place shared the Garden with him were less than he, so he himself was a little lower than the angels of heaven, who are not of the earth, but of a different being and nature, and dwell in glory beyond thought or imagination in the presence of the Lord God.

Thus Adam, shaped of the dust and given life of the divine, came into this earthly paradise, and his eyes were opened, and the light of day shone in upon him as through windows, and joy and amazement filled his mind. He heard the voice of beast and bird and wind and water, and with his fingers he touched the flowers. He was clothed in the light and heat of the sun, and stood erect and moved his limbs and stretched his arms above his head. The Lord God looked on him with love and talked with him in the secrecy of his heart.

‘Lo, all things that I have made to be of thy company I give into thy charge to keep and tend and to use. Do with them as thy heart desires. And behold, I have given thee also for food every herb whose seed is in itself of its own kind, and every tree yielding fruit and seed. Of every tree thou mayest freely eat except only the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that is in the midst of the Garden. Of that thou mayest not eat. It is denied thee. For if thou eat of it, it will bring thee only grief and misery; deadly of its nature is this fruit unto thee, and in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’

Adam hearkened to these words with all his understanding, and in the will of the Lord God he found freedom and his peace. The days of his life went by, and the Lord God brought to him in his own season every beast of the field and every fowl of the air that he had made out of the dust, to see what Adam would call it, and to see which of them was most meet to him for company. And Adam gazed at them, marvelling as they moved before him, each in its own kind following the instinct and desire that was the secret of its life.

And as Adam watched them, it seemed that of his own insight and divination he shared in the life and being of each one of them in turn. They wandered amid the little trees, browsing in the herbage, and on

  By PanEris using Melati.

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